It’s not fair.
It’s such a common phrase, especially with children in the home. Okay, let me be honest. This phrase is common in my vocabulary; I just don’t vocalize it like my children.
It’s not fair.
Every time I hear it I see it said with a passionate plea. More than likely one feels they have been wronged in some way and either with an enraged or deeply sorrowful way the phrase is cried out to the air.
It’s not fair.
I connect with Job in today’s Old Testament reading. Here is a man who has lost everything and surrounded by friends that are pointing out his sinful nature. I can only imagine that after being told several times to renew his faithfulness to God and turn from his sinful ways that Job must be going mad in his head. He must be reviewing the video of his life and searching for an episode of a day in his life where he would deserve the calamity brought upon him.
Finally, after the all the video has been watched and he returns to the real world, Job is left with a sense of injustice. It’s not fair – God can’t do this (Job 23:2).
Let’s jump forward in history now to a time when Jesus is telling a story about a son that asks for his father’s inheritance before his father is close to being deceased. The kid wastes all of the money on wild living and is forced to get a culturally degrading job. The boy finally puts away his pride and decides to go home to his father. The part that I pay attention to here is that the father is THRILLED that his son is home BUT the older son is ticked at his sibling. In fact the older son marches over to his father, who is in the middle of putting together a very expensive “welcome home” party, and heatedly confronts him on his actions. It’s not fair – I’ve been the loyal son and worked hard by your side all these years. Actually, Job does a bit of this in chapter 23 and 24. He speaks about his loyalty to God’s commands and then in chapter 24 he talks about how the wicked get away with everything under the sun.
If I’m honest here, I have to say that I relate with these feelings and emotions sometimes. If told, my life story doesn’t have the dramatic telling as some folks. I’ve been a goody-two-shoes during my life. I’ve never been on drugs or addicted to alcohol. I grew up in a Christian home where I honestly don’t remember a time that I didn’t think Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Consequently, when I hit a rough patch in life, I can relate with Job (and maybe more so the eldest son). It’s not fair. I see others making it in life. They don’t know God but they seem to have more income, an easier time performing their day-to-day tasks, less struggles – their life looks to be like something out of “Ozzy and Harriet.” In my head life should be run like the family business. You know what I’m saying – after ten years of service God gives you a watch and twenty years an exotic vacation with a good yearly raise. Life should be simpler.
I know. I know. I’m being selfish here. “It’s not about me; It’s about Him.” “Where is your faith that God will provide?” “You are better off than ‘them’ because you have God’s hope of eternal life.” Yeah. Yeah. I’ll work on it.
The nugget of encouragement that I take is connected with the end of Job 23 starting at verse 13. Job understands clearly that God is sovereign. He grasps quite clearly that God is in charge of not only the universe but of his small life. Now despite the fact that Job gets the unbelievable power of God, Job still is able to cry out, “It’s not fair.” Are there holes in my thinking? Probably. I mean Job REALLY didn’t cause his “unfair” moment while my moments are usually brought on by selfishness. However, God is merciful enough to allow me, his creation, to come before Him with whining and complaints. He cares for me even though I’m the one that has wronged Him. That’s not fair – thank God.